Q&A: Dr. Jerome Adams, from U.S. surgeon general to Purdue
Dr. Jerome Adams talks life after being ‘Trump’s surgeon general,’ the call from Purdue President Mitch Daniels and his new role meant to position Purdue as a leader in health equity. Oh, and Axl Rose
Midweek last week, Dr. Jerome Adams was taking stock of where he spent his days since Purdue President Mitch Daniels came calling.
A few days in West Lafayette, a few days in Indianapolis’ Eskenazi Health and scrambling in between to meet faculty candidates being recruited to be part of a health equity team the former U.S. surgeon general was tapped to lead at Purdue, as of Oct. 1.
“My new crazy world,” Adams said from Eskenazi, in a suite of offices used by Purdue College of Pharmacy faculty. “It is insane.”
Part of an overall initiative Purdue this summer promised would be significant – ultimately putting $75 million over five years into hiring, student recruitment and more to diversity campus – Adams’ appointment was a surprising big splash in the first leg of it, concentrating on public health, health policy and health equity.
Adams, Indiana’s state health commissioner from 2014 to 2017 under Gov. Mike Pence, wound up pulled to Washington, D.C., as the nation’s 20th surgeon general, part of Donald Trump’s White House. That ended when President Joe Biden took office.
Daniels brought in Adams as Purdue first executive director of health equity initiatives. Adams also will hold appointments in Pharmacy Practice and Public Health and at the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering.
From Indianapolis, Adams talked about the assignment Daniels gave him and what he picked up during stints as health commissioner and in the Trump White House that will focus how he helps shape Purdue’s efforts. (Bonus: We got around to the time Axl Rose, Lafayette native and Guns n’ Roses lead singer, called Adams out.)
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